Well, we probably all do during election season :) But specifically, my little red flags go off with concerns for people's personal safety with the info they're tossing out online -- especially while traveling. Rather than nervously comment individually on people's posts in an attempt to shield you all from harm one by one, ima just compile it here.
1. Don't post in real time.
One of my friends really took the champion cake for this recently by posting her Europe pictures an entire 2 weeks later, so convincingly that I had no idea her posts were delayed. When you're out and about, it's not a good idea to immediately post a pic of you, with an identifiable landmark in the background, with a location tag, with a bunch of hashtags that strangers can find you through.....you get the idea. Save those pics for later or the next day and post them safely from your hotel room or the next city on your route. No one's the wiser, and you're that much more unfindable by any real-time creepers.
2. Don't talk about your upcoming plans/schedule.
Bad Idea: "So excited to tour Vatican City tomorrow morning!" *insert arms-crossed NOPE emoji*
3. Don't mention when you're traveling alone.
Look, everyone has that Eat, Pray, Love fantasy of going it alone on an adventurous solo trek. If that's you, great! Just don't tell the world about it until later :)
4. Don't talk about where you're staying.
Photos, a hotel name, a picture of the street view from your window, etc. Your hotel/Airbnb is your safe space! Don't make it easy for random people to be able to track you down.
5. Don't post info about your home situation.
Sure, it's tempting to post pics of that cute new house you bought with that visible house # and uniquely identifiable paint color in the background. It's tempting, and it's also a terrible idea -- especially when you've also posted while traveling so people know your home base is empty and unguarded. Also, one of the most common ones I see: posting on Twitter/Facebook about how nervous and/or excited you are when your spouse or roommate is out of town and you're home alone in your dark, quiet house (no! don't do this! horror films are made of this!).
6. Don't post pics of your boarding pass, train ticket, etc.
If you really want to use it in a photo, arrange the shot so any trackable details (flight #, departure or arrival time, etc.) are hidden. How many times have I covered private info in photos with my thumb or other random objects? It's like an art form. Good job, thumb and other random objects.
7. Skip all of the above, and make your account private.
If you want to run free with any of the above, you could just lock your accounts down and make sure you legit know and trust every person who you let follow you. Personally, I prefer a public account (at least with Instagram and Twitter) and an appropriate level of precaution.
And while we're on a roll....
Bonus Non-Travel Tip: Never post your exercise route.
I love when people are excited about a run they completed. I feel super nervous for these same people when they post a map of the route they ran -- especially when they say it's their usual or favorite route. And when said route probably begins and ends at their home address (see #5). Careful, my friends!
Get out there and see the world, but see it smart :)
And now I am done feeling overprotective of everyone's safety and you may go back to your regularly scheduled programming, whatever that might be. (For me, it's continuing to peruse that new Harry Potter script. Thoughts TBD!)